Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center
Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides. Today’s agribusiness practices – from the concentration of thousands of animals and their waste in small feedlots to the massive planting of chemical-intensive crops such as corn – make water pollution from agribusiness both much more likely and much more dangerous.
The shift to such industrial practices is no accident. It is largely the result of decisions made in the boardrooms of some of the world’s largest corporations. Major agribusiness firms are responsible for the degradation of many American waterways, and they must change practices throughout their supply chains to clean up the mess.